LearnQuest Brings Music of the Mountains and the Forests This Weekend

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By Pallavi Nagesha

BOSTON–All the wisdom of the universe is said to be stored in the trees. When they sing, they tell stories of joy and sorrow. Of the brave and the oppressed. Of time gone by. Hills and valleys echo these sweet melodies as forests soak them in and make each memory immortal.

Imagine just being amidst this immense trove of insight and sagacity! Add to this experience the arousing music of stalwarts like Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, Ramana Balachandran and Abhishek Borkar.

In this second week of the Blue Planet series brought to you online by LearnQuest, we continue our silver celebration with two outstanding concerts.

The Hindustani segment presents Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, known for his brilliant amalgamation of the Gwalior, Jaipur, and Agra gharanas. His experimentation gives him not just a great range but also a deep understanding, owing to which his music tends to stir and inspire. It seems like Ulhas ji has imbibed the best of his gurus, Gajananrao Joshi and Ram Marathe, and has developed his own unique style. Ulhas ji accompanied by Yogesh Samsi (Tabla) and Tanmay Deochake (Harmonium) perform at Machutar Village in Mahabaleshwar, where Ulhas Ji’s taans glide smoothly through the hills and dales of the Western Ghats. Take a sneak peak at what you can look forward to from this Padma Shri recipient and singer extraordinaire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CjV5XyQPdw

This week also has a unique Jugalbandi featuring Ramana Balachandran (Carnatic Veena) and Abhishek Borkar (Sarod). The young prodigy, Ramana, plays the Veena with sophistication and restraint way beyond his years, handling his music sans gimmicks, very much loyal to the traditional contours of raagas. When he handles certain raagas, like Brindavan Sarangi, it feels as if his Veena is an extension of his voice.

With Ramana is yet another young virtuoso, Abhishek Borkar his improvisations and deeply introspective music is played in the Tarankaar baaz style. His niche is a unique blend of the Sarod, Sitar, Sarangi and vocal styles. Abhishek’s natural instinct for aesthetic music and incredible control over sur and laya is a treat. The youngsters along with Yashwant Vaishnav (Tabla) and Sumesh Narayanan (Mridangam) perform amid the lush greenery of Valley School 20 kms from Bengaluru. The richly diverse ecology of this place is reflective of the music these youngsters play. Surrounded by over 300 different species of trees and medicinal plants and a diverse wildlife inducing 250 species of birds, their music is sure to tug at your heartstrings. Here is a quick look at the treat that awaits you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0SVNvogm2A

These two concerts will be available on February 12, 2022 at 7:00 pm IST, 9:30 am EDT. To enjoy these exceptional concerts, go to https://tickets.learnquest.org.

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